A thing that's funny about my fourth-floor walk-up apartment is how much in touch it puts me with my relative physical abilities. I climb those stairs near every day, sometimes two or three times a day, and while it is not my favorite thing, and does sometimes when I'm carrying things leave me a little blown, it doesn't seem to be harder for me than for other people. A dear friend, a very tiny person, always has to stop on the third-floor landing. Today I have plumbers tearing out a chunk of my bathroom wall (boo!) and they are carrying heavy things, but arrive full-on panting. I have a lot of shame related to showing signs of exertion, like if I'm out of breath the only possible reason for that is that I'm a fat person—there were these eight flights of steep stairs in Beyoglu, Istanbul that we needed to climb, me and my sister and two friends of mine, last spring, and I needed to rest before they did, and I just about died of shame (the effort to keep your voice even & keep the hitch of exertion out of it, the forced flippancy of the announcement that you need a second)—but since that trip to Istanbul I've done a hundred thousand weighted squats and the situation seems to have been somewhat altered. Last July, I sublet with my boyfriend in a third-floor walk-up and those stairs felt more onerous than these do. Yes, I am somewhat less fat, but not a huge lot less fat—the difference in physical power is, I think, more than can be attributed to relative fatness. Not least because one reads self-flagellating fatties on the internets who say they can barely walk to the mailbox or whatever at my current weight.
This is just a note to myself.